Friday, February 25, 2011

$12 In – Shanghai

Wow, I was starting to think I'd never post another tip jar submission ever. It's been a very long time – thankfully. But tonight, well, tonight could not go unnoticed.

We used to go to Shanghai quite often. I've always really enjoyed it there. My favourite dishes – Shanghai dumplings, pad thai, and coconut curry shrimp. I don't know what happened tonight though, food was good as usual, service – non-existent.

- 20 minutes+ before getting our first drink, 1 hour for the app, another hour for the main (some apps didn't even come with the others and snuck their way in just before the main), over an hour for the bill.
- My friend got the wrong app, and my husband got the wrong main. Unfortunately at this point he was so hungry he couldn't bare the thought of waiting another hour for a new dish so ate the ginger beef he was served. Oh, and he's really not a fan of ginger.
- Our server spilled my friend's beer into his dinner. Her response: “Oh, now it's going to taste like beer. Do you want me to do something about that?” Nothing was done.

My friend Gina said it beautifully – there's a way to give bad service well (having been in the industry). A few apologies, even a fake excuse, anything would have made me feel somewhat better. But she was clueless. And I don't think she had any idea that anything was going wrong.

To make matters worse, after about 40 minutes of waiting for our bill, even after having asked our server to bring it, approximately 50 people piled through the doors in about 10 minutes. Our chances of getting a bill now were hopeless. Another 20 minutes or more go by. We shuffle through the people to get to the bar, begging for our bill. No success, Don who was working behind the bar had to get the bill from our server. We waited some more, and the live act that had just started (a strip spelling bee) began. His first words: “I know there's still people eating here - so you should finish and leave.” Oh trust me, we want to! We wanted to an hour ago. We finally got our bill, our server still with no idea anything was even wrong, no apology, nothing.

I don't think the evening could have ended any more poorly. So sad. I really did used to love this place. So there you have it, $12 tip now in my empty little jar, waiting patiently for the next outing we have with impeccable service!

Side note: if you have an event going on that's going to box in your guests and pretty much reduce the service to nothing, warn them when they call for a reservation – at least.

651 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, Ontario


D said...

Hi Rachelle.

First off , my apologies to you and your guests. I know there is no excuse for poor service. That evening , the event organizers door person of the Strip spelling Bee never showed up for duty at 10pm- which is why the 50 people poured in all at once. This made it very difficult for our server to even get to your table by the front window.
I feel really bad about this happening .
and hope you give us a second chance .

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